INTERNATIONAL

Russia to supply helicopters to Sri Lanka

Vladimir Radyuhin

MOSCOW: Russia will supply military transport helicopters to Sri Lanka, said Colombo.

Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa told the Russian RIA Novosti news wire that Moscow had agreed to extend a credit to Colombo to buy a number of Russian military transport helicopters.

“We are already using [Russian-made] Mi-17 and Mi-24 helicopters, and we need more to transport military personnel,” Mr. Rajapaksa was quoted as saying. He said Sri Lanka would like to develop closer defence ties with Russia.

Earlier this month, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pledged support to the Sri Lanka in its “fight against terrorism” and said Moscow appreciated Colombo’s efforts to protect Tamil civilians.

Russia and China blocked a formal Security Council session on Sri Lanka earlier this month.

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